This week has been so much better than last week. I'm certainly not getting any more sleep than last week, but I am over a summer cold and I'm also consistently getting up at 5:45, about 45 minutes (if I'm lucky) before anyone else gets up. At 5:45 it's still dark outside, and some mornings I'd much rather sleep. But it's been worth it to have the quiet time. What I've been doing is making myself a cup of tea and going out onto our dark back porch to sit on the rug. I stretch a little because when it's quiet I notice how stiff my body is in the mornings now. (It didn't used to be.) I watch the sun rise through the trees behind the house because our porch faces east. I listen to the birds wake up and the crickets go to sleep. Yesterday I listened to an owl makes its way through our neighborhood, it's hooty calls getting farther and farther away from me.
My morning mood is vastly improved by starting the day off alone and quiet rather than having to be "on" the minute the kids wake me up. I may even set my clock a little earlier to get even more time like this!